Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Sky Continues To Fall

By the way, Bill Whitmore has a new book out...

From Security Info Watch by way of ASIS Security Management Daily:

"AlliedBarton chairman looks at how to stem tide of workplace violence

by Steve Lasky, Editor-in-Chief, Security Technology Executive magazine

Sept. 21, 2011, Orlando, Fla. -- Distraught employees are injuring or killing co-workers and supervisors at an alarming rate. Customer rage is at an all-time high. Domestic violence has spilled over into the workplace. And it’s not that these incidents are getting more media coverage – the Center for Disease Control has officially classified workplace violence as a national epidemic."

My reply (to the comments section and in an email):

But Workplace Homicide Is At An All Time Low


I'm not sure which BLS report you or Mr. Whitmore read but according to workplace homicide numbers are at the lowest point since they were first tracked in 1992. Even if they weren't your unusually lurid opening paragraph fails to mention that fully 75% of all homicides at work are perpetrated by outsiders during robberies of retail and service establishments.  Death at the hands of coworkers (and former coworkers), clients (including patients), and family and friends (especially including estranged abusers) represents the remaining 25% of the 542 workplace murders in 2009. Is that too many? Absolutely. There are certainly many important issues to resolve. Robbery prevention and survival training, cab driver safety, assault prevention in healthcare and social services settings, humane management practices, prohibitions against horseplay, zero tolerance for bullying and all other forms of harassment, quality mental health benefits, screening and treatment for depression, and suicide prevention are elements an organization may draw upon to create a workplace violence prevention and response program that meets its business needs. Hyperbole and hysteria have no place in the security professional’s approach to this important issue.

UPDATE: By the way, I'd appreciate it if someone would show me precisely where the CDC has "officially classified workplace violence as a national epidemic."

All that said, while I disdain fear-based marketing, I do look forward to seeing what Potential: Workplace Violence Prevention and Your Organizational Success has to say, especially if our C-level bosses and clients are going to be reading it.

REUPDATE: My review of Potential will be published in the April 2012 issue of The Workplace Violence Prevention eReport